Tips to Flip a Breech Baby
Hi friends, just popping in to let you know that this blog post was written before our son made his debut. You can read more about his arrival right here!
I’m almost 37 weeks, which means our baby boy has been in a breech position for about nine weeks now. He is what they call “frank breech”, with his butt in my pelvis, head in my abdomen, and feet straight up into my ribs. I had no idea, until I went for my 28-week ultrasound, and my ultrasound tech told me about his breech positioning. She said, “Don’t worry, you still have tons of time for him to flip.”
Well, here I am and he hasn’t budged. I talked to my OB over the last two months and she said I should go ahead and try just about anything to flip him. So what did I do? Well, I polled the Playbook community and asked for your best tips to flip a breech baby. And, boy oh boy, you had lots of suggestions…
Your Best Ideas to Flip a Breech Baby
I heard from hundreds of women who had been in the same position, who had also tried just about everything to flip their breech babies. I poured through all of the recommendations and these were the most common tips.
Spinning Babies Course
The Spinning Babies course was the most popular tip of them all. It was created by a midwife who specializes in childbirth, and it has an entire course with tips to flip a breech baby. I bought the course and started following all of the exercises, immediately. There are a wide variety of tips and techniques, but most notable are the exercises where you do an inversion on your head, and then lay on an ironing board upside down for fifteen minutes. I started doing those around 28 weeks, and while it felt good to get my body moving, Baby Boy hasn’t cooperated. I am not saying it isn’t a good resource, it just hasn’t yet worked for me.
Acupuncture & Moxibustion
Another popular recommendation was acupuncture. I used acupuncture many times throughout my 3-year-long infertility journey and always found it to be relaxing. However, I actually got pregnant (both times) when I wasn’t actively doing acupuncture.
Many suggested I find an acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health and helping women flip breech babies. I actually found a chiropractor (more below), who does both and I’ve been seeing her.
She also practices moxibustion, derived from Chinese medicine, which involves burning an herb near your pinky toes. It’s pretty bizarre, but many have had success with it to flip their babies. She does it during my acupuncture sessions and even gave me a stick to bring home. I’ve gotta say, I smell like a bonfire after, and my neighbors must think I’m straight up crazy because it looks like I’m smoking a cigar in the backyard! But when you’re willing to throw the kitchen sink at a problem, you do what you gotta do!
As I mentioned above, I found a local chiropractor (Core Chiropractic in Bucktown) who specializes in the Webster Technique, which is a technique to align the pelvis so it creates space for the baby to move. Many followers said they had success flipping their babies after seeing a chiropractor, so I was excited to give it a try! It kinda felt like a typical chiropractor visit…cracking my back, moving joints here and there, etc. My chiropractor suggested I visit three times a week until the baby flips, but it’s been hard, and expensive, to keep up with that rigorous cadence. I just have far too many doctors’ appointments to make that happen.
While the chiropractor hasn’t worked for me, it feels good to get my body aligned, learn some good stretches, and focus on my breathing while pregnant.
I sought the help of a pelvic floor therapist (I see Erin S. at West Town Physical Therapy…highly recommend!) before I even found out about the baby’s breech positioning. I was having a lot of pelvic pressure and pain and figured seeing a professional might help with my aches. It has been so incredibly helpful and my pain has reduced significantly. We’ve done a lot of breathing techniques to prepare for labor, exercises to strengthen my pelvic floor, and at-home exercises to strengthen my glutes and core. I feel so.much.better.
While this hasn’t helped to flip the baby, I would recommend it to any pregnant woman and wish I would have done it for my first pregnancy. Carrying a child is tough on your body, and physical therapy is always a good idea. I plan to continue physical therapy, postpartum, to help with my recovery.
I’m not sure about the science behind this one, but figured I would include it! A few followers recommended putting an ice pack (or, in my case, a bag of frozen broccoli) on your stomach near the baby’s head, while taking a warm bath, or using a heating pad, near your pelvis. Supposedly the baby will move his head away from the cold and towards the warmth. I tried it a handful of times with no luck, but hey…it’s all worth a shot!
Handstands in a Pool
Swimming, and more specifically doing handstands in a pool, was another frequent idea from my followers. While we don’t have a pool, we did go on a vacation and I spent a lot of time in the pool floating and doing handstands. It felt great to feel lightweight but didn’t quite work to move the baby.
ECV (External Cephalic Version)
Finally, you can undergo an external cephalic version. This is where your OB manually moves the baby from the outside, usually near the end of your third trimester, as you approach your due date. The baby is monitored throughout, for signs of distress, and it’s done near a surgical room in case you have to have an emergency c-section. I know many women have had success with ECV and I heard lots of stories in my DMs. Unfortunately, my doctor doesn’t perform them, because she believes the success rate is too low (she said about 40%) to risk it. Since I already have a high-risk pregnancy, it wasn’t an option for me.
And the best tip of them all? Time. Most babies will flip into position all on their own as your pregnancy progresses and only 3-4% of babies are actually breech when it comes time to deliver. In fact, I heard from a few mamas who said their babies flipped into position on the way to the hospital…so you really just never know!
So there you have it…the plethora of ideas I’ve received to flip a breech baby. While they haven’t worked for me (yet), they might work for your pregnancy! And at the end of the day, my goal is to deliver a happy and healthy baby, no matter what. If that means he is coming into this world via c-section…that’s a-okay with me!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.